It also creates new construction and infrastructure jobs in regions across the U.S. Tesla estimates that it has spent a sum in the range of tens of millions of dollars to create the supercharger stations across the nation, and most of the cost of installing the sites is in labor and construction.
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Tesla itself hires between five and 10 contractors/employees in states where it has multiple sites being built, including Florida, Washington, Oregon and Texas. Each site costs approximately $150,000 to construct, according to Tesla. "A lot of it is directly into the local economies," Straubel said, including to the local bakeries, and pizza parlors. "The construction crew is like, 'What is going on? Who is this?'" Straubel said.
That's been the experience for crews of Vancouver, Wash.-based ADK Electric, which is constructing a total of four charging stations for Tesla in Washington and Oregon.
Todd Nielsen, project manager at ADK, said Tesla owners have brought pizzas to the work site for construction workers and engaged construction crews in ways that the workers have never experienced, and don't know quite how to respond to. "They try to talk our crews into cars to go for a ride, even when they are all muddy," Nielsen said.
He said he was most surprised the day after he first pulled the permit from the state website for a supercharging station contract. "I got a call from a guy the next day, questioning me like crazy on the project. That's the first time anyone even looked at the state website to look into permits being pulled in my experience," Nielsen said.
Melnick said that, on average, the company is generating margins of 15 percent on the projects—similar to its telecommunications project work—and what the company views as "pretty good."
The construction manager also thinks there will be an increased amount of work to be done as Tesla continues its nationwide supercharging build-out. Carrick is currently bidding on additional Tesla projects in North Carolina and Virginia. The addition of canopies to supercharging stations as well as solar panels to take supercharging stations off-grid, are project additions that Melnick expects to create an additional flow of work for the contracting industry from Tesla. Electric car-charging stations could represent 20 percent to 30 percent of Carrick's business in the future, Melnick estimated. "We definitely think we will be able to grow with them, and we want to grow with them," he said.
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